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FTSE 100 Index Dips As Retail Rebounds and Rate Speculation Continues

Analyst Team trader
Updated 21 Jun 2024

The FTSE 100 index is down almost 1% through the early part of trading today, as the FTSE 250 index experiences a more modest decline of 0.65%. The UK market behaviour comes on the heels of an unexpectedly strong rebound in retail sales and ahead of new PMI figures, signalling sentiment shifts as the country navigates through economic indicators and central bank cues.

In a turn surpassing the predictions of economists, British retail sales volumes saw a significant surge of 2.9% in May, recovering from a fall of 1.8% in April and beating the forecasted 1.5% increase. The data, suggesting a boost in consumer spending, could be a sign of resilience in the UK economy amidst ongoing financial challenges.

Signals from the Bank of England (BoE) hinted at the possibility of a reduction in interest rates come August but markets are currently split on the chances of this happening, with some investors betting on a 50-50 likelihood for the cut.


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From a stocks perspective, United Utilities (LON: UU) saw its value increase by 1.47% after receiving an upgrade from J.P. Morgan. On a more notable scale, the beverage company Britvic (LON: BVIC) experienced a remarkable 18.94% upsurge in the last 5 days following its rejection of a proposed cash offer from the Carlsberg Group.

Recent money policy developments have the Bank of England's main committee taking a 7-2 vote in favour of maintaining the interest rates at 5.25%, with the July election looming. The decision not to pursue a rate cut at this juncture was described as “finely balanced” among policymakers.

Furthermore, with the speculation of a rate decrease strongly priced into the market by the time of September's meeting, it is interesting to note that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's Conservative Party is currently trailing the Labour Party by about 20 points in pre-election polls.

The Bank of England has emphasised that the anticipation surrounding the upcoming election has not swayed their decisions on interest rates.

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The AskTraders Analyst Team features experts in technical and fundamental analysis, as well as traders specializing in stocks, forex, and cryptocurrency.